In what could turn out to be a potential deal breaker for motorists, the one-way toll for the upcoming Bandra-Versova Sea Link (BVSL) could be as high as Rs 250.
The pre-construction work for the project began last week and close to 50,000 vehicles are expected to use the sea link daily upon its completion in 2023.
According to a DNA report, the toll estimate is based on projections of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the planning authority responsible for executing the project.
At Rs 250, the per kilometre toll cost for the 17-km long project will reportedly end up being a staggering Rs 19.80. In comparison, the toll cost for the Bandra-Worli sea link is Rs 12 per km.
Initial estimates pegged the toll collection period at 28 years. However, with the construction cost going up from Rs 5,500 crore to Rs 7,000 crore, the period is expected to be raised to cover the total cost of construction.
The high toll, however, may deter many motorists from opting for the route like in the case of the Bandra-Worli sea link.
“I travel from Andheri to Bandra every day and the BVSL could have been perfect for me. However, a toll of Rs 250 might render the sea link unviable for most daily commuters like me who would rather spend that money on fuel instead,” said marketer Samantha Das.
Incidentally, the decision to hike the toll from Rs 55 to 70 for existing sea link has also had a visible impact on collection estimates, with just Rs 620 crore being collected in the nine-year period since inception against the Rs 1,240 that was initially estimated.
The BVSL project is a part of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led state government’s ambitious coastal road project connecting south Mumbai with the city’s western suburbs.
Although the CM has clearly indicated that the state government is working on making Maharashtra toll free, MSRDC officials told the daily that levying toll on the BVSL is necessary to make the project financially viable.